This post is connected with IPT 690, a graduate seminar course in Instructional Psychology and Technology at Brigham Young University.
On Nov 13th, we had a current doctoral student in IPT, Jenn Price speak to our seminar. Jenn is a designer by trade, and she also teaches the graduate IPT course in graphic design (of which I am hoping to take next semester). Jenn’s presentation was about some of the lessons that she has learned as a self-proclaimed “hacker designer”. I would like to talk more specifically about two points that she made (please note that I am paraphrasing) during her presentation.
Design is like the tithing of the Instructional Design process: You should spend at least 10% of your time making it pretty.
Even though I haven’t formally finished an instructional design process (not counting my own curriculum that I’ve developed), I feel like this is a pretty good rule to live by. I’m increasingly becoming a believer in the power of the user experience, and how that user experience affects the ways that we perceive a product. Now while I don’t know if this is true for everyone, I know that I am especially susceptible to good design. When looking for a new web-based tool, I will often choose that tool based on the design of the website. I personally feel that good site design is a pretty good indication of good product design — it shows that the designers have considered the whole experience.
Why should you use InDesign instead of Word? It’s all about control.
I’m also a big believer in this principal as well, and while I haven’t learned InDesign (something I am looking forward to), I’ve seen this numerous times in the world of video editing. Yes, iMovie is fine, but as you learn more and more about video editing, you will quickly see its limitations. A tool like Premiere Pro is more open and gives you more control. Yes, the learning curve is more steep, but you will hopefully only be limited by the constraints of your design, and not the constraints of the tool.
While these are only a few of the things that Jenn spoke about, these were the two that were the newest for me. I’ve considered myself a hack designer for a while and I really want to gain a little bit more legitimacy. This seminar helped to reinforce the thought that I need to spend some more time learning and refining my design skills.